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New York Launches COVID Response Team to Monitor City’s Schools

September 16, 2020 by Daniel Londono
New York City. (Photo by Dan McCue)

NEW YORK, N.Y.- The City of New York on Monday implemented a new COVID “Response Team” to monitor the city’s schools and hopefully prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus in one of the nation’s hardest hit municipalities.

The city’s new COVID Response Situation Room is a collaboration between the state Department of Education, the city Department of Health and Mental Health, and the Test and Trace Corps., a public health initiative managed by a coalition of the city’s hospitals and health care facilities.

As outlined during a news conference by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York School Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, beginning Monday, school officials are being advised to contact the situation room whenever they learn of a student or teacher’s positive coronavirus test, or even suspect someone of showing symptoms of the virus.

The Department Of Health and Mental Health will then work to verify the case and conduct an investigation.

Schools are under specific instructions to communicate with all students, staff and their immediate families anytime a case is confirmed, specifically regarding what precautions need to be taken and whether or not quarantine is necessary for the students and staff.

“This unprecedented school year requires all hands on deck, and that’s exactly what we’ll have in the situation room,” says Carranza. “ Our principals will now have a one-stop shop to raise concerns and receive rapid, coordinated responses that put the health and safety of our school communities first.”

City officials stressed that the key to this new initiative working is testing for the virus. The officials said the city is now offering students and educators free coronavirus testing at 22 city-run testing locations.

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